Tuesday, January 3, 2017

You Go Glenn Coco!

That's what I feel like shouting at Brazilians sometimes, but I know the compliment would be lost. Life in Brazil is hard, man. It's not the comfy first world life I grew up with. And maybe that makes me appreciate the things people do here more - I'm not sure if they understand how awesome they are. Kind of like... you can't miss chocolate pudding if you've never had it. If you've only had vanilla, then you only know what vanilla is like. Make sense? 

Okay, for example, you know that tax funded bus service that takes your kids to and from school? That's not a thing here. There are actually a few small privately owned "busses" (vans, really), and you can pay for them to take your child to and from school. But most kids walk or bike to school. Up and down the big ass mountain sides, in flip flops of all things. Even when it's 8am and 96F or 4pm and 105F. 

This morning, in the pouring rain, in the rain so god damn bad that Maicon and I had to walk down our street away from the school to find an area of the road we could actually cross (because most of it was completely flooded) - I saw a dad bringing his son to school on a bicycle. One hand on the handlebars, the other arm wrapped around his son and holding an umbrella. And it's not at all uncommon to see a mom or dad riding a bicycle with three or four kids on it. Most bikes actually have an extended part at the back - where a crate could sit - and they attach a pad to it, as well as attachment seats for babies. (Photos visa Dafiti)

Brazilians are accustomed to walking or biking everywhere. Even though most people have motorcycles or cars, gas is very expensive. It's wonderful, to be honest. Everyone is always out and about and there is so much more face time with neighbors. It lends itself to the tight-knit community feeling. And it doesn't hurt that it keeps everyone fit. Don't get me wrong, beer guts are plentiful, but obesity like you see in the US is easily staved when you're walking a minimum of 10 miles a day. It's one of those habits I'll be bringing back with me. So Brazilians, even if you don't hear me yelling it across the street like a weirdo, "You go Glenn Coco!"

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